Chilled Chords for Canines

Richard Mott One Show Interview showing Dalmatian dog in lab

The School Animal Behaviour Centre will feature on “The One Show” this Friday (1 July) at 7 pm on BBC 2.  The One Show picked up on SBOHVM research with the Scottish SPCA into how music can enrich the lives of dogs in the Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centres across Scotland.

We already know that music can be used to reduce stress in dogs and other animals, but this feature presents work by Richard Mott, Neil Evans and Fiona Dowell looking at the effects of pitch and tempo or bespoke music made based on the owner’s voice and whether dogs can distinguish between different aspects of music.

While maybe not understanding the finer points of music, our results consistently show that music can improve dogs’ welfare.  This can be by masking more unpleasant sounds such as fireworks and thunder or the sounds of busy kennels, or through positive association with music that reminds them when they were calm and relaxed, and which can then be used to help with separation anxiety or during stressful events such as traveling or visits to the vet.  The Scottish SPCA are currently trialing the principle of positive associations to see if it helps rescue dogs settle into their new homes.

First published: 1 July 2022

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